can others see my desktop?

dell
September 15, 2006 at 06:10:09
Specs: xp, lots

Just out of curiosity, is it possible for IT staff within a company to view my desktop while I am using it?
I assume it could only be done with remote desktop or similar software and I have a firewall configured to prevent that at the moment.

Same goes for using a system like logmein. I imagine that the communications cannot be intercepted !
:)


See More: can others see my desktop?

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#1
September 15, 2006 at 06:19:40

My company records my screen while I am on the phone. I see nothing running while it is recording; meaning nothing in the system tray or popups or anything.

So, yes, they can.

Bryan


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#2
September 15, 2006 at 06:39:25

They can even watch your surfing the net and typing personal emails.

i_XpUser


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#3
September 15, 2006 at 06:44:42

How exactly is that possible without some software like VNC or remote desktop ?

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Related Solutions

#4
September 15, 2006 at 06:52:57

As long as you are connected to the network your connection is filtered through IT Network Auditing & monitoring systems. What are you worrying about?

i_XpUser


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#5
September 15, 2006 at 06:57:42

Poor choice of wording...

...your connection is filtered through ...

should read

...your connection is routed through ...

i_XpUser


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#6
September 15, 2006 at 06:59:06

I was looking at using logmein to control my computer at home. However, I might not bother now.
It is too obvious from looking through audit logs for a string like https://computername:2002 etc.

I don't understand how just being connected to a network can allow others to see your screen/desktop, etc. ?!


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#7
September 15, 2006 at 07:05:11

My employer's IT department has several different "remote desktop" type applications. Out of courtesy they send a popup consent request when shadowing our desktop for troubleshooting purposes. I have it on good authority that they don't have to send that popup message. Big brother sees all and knows all and as long as I don't breech the acceptible use policy I keep my job.

I used to have a signature but it disappeared and I just couldn't be bothered writing another so please feel free to ingore this.


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#8
September 15, 2006 at 07:11:13

So what you're saying is that a firewall might prevent direct access to your computer but with they're filtering/monitoring systems that can view what any connection is doing and what webpage you are looking at ?

Surely ISPs could do this as well couldn't they ?


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#9
September 15, 2006 at 07:15:19

Surely ISPs could do this as well couldn't they ?

Absolutely which is why Attorney General Alberto Gonzales wants the ISP to record everything we do in interest of national security, child exploitation, and who know what else.


i_XpUser


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#10
September 15, 2006 at 07:15:59

I don't see how they can watch any of this live though. Especially regarding web pages, as they are static anyway.

To view something live, they would have to have some software connecting to a port on your computer that you could easily block ???


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#11
September 15, 2006 at 07:22:15

Your thinking is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that there arre plenty of tools and technologies to enable the Big Brothers to do whatever they want. To be absolutely safe, throw out your modem.
i_XpUser

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#12
September 15, 2006 at 07:25:40

:)

Go on then - such as what?
How can anyone see my computer's desktop in real-time without connecting to a port on my computer that my firewall can ultimately block.

I can understand how a filtering system might be able to view the webpage you just looked at or the email you just typed.

HTTPS also comes into this. If it's encrypted, even a filtering IT network tool cannot view what you just sent or received, only the IP address you sent it to ?


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#13
September 15, 2006 at 07:26:54

BTW the ISP as your Big Brother is starting to take effect in Canada.

i_XpUser


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#14
September 15, 2006 at 07:27:29

I'm bailing out on this one. Happy Computing!

i_XpUser


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#15
September 15, 2006 at 07:29:59

Seriously, I'm just trying to have a decent discussion here and am interested in the subject. It's one thing to make a statement but you have to qualify it somewhat either with an example or a way round it.

So:
How can anyone see my computer's desktop in real-time without connecting to a port on my computer that my firewall can ultimately block?


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#16
September 15, 2006 at 07:56:26

one way or another if it is built by man, it can be exploited by man. just because the wizards you are talking to might not know or maybe they do, which is irrelavent, like xp user said big brother knows and sees all. there are teckies working for the gov. that would probably laugh at windows shabby programming. not that it is by our thinking. but, i bet the gov. pays them more than M$ could even think of. there is technologies running around that would probably just make us shake and shiver. who knows, we may just be useing a stargate already. LOL.

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#17
September 15, 2006 at 08:13:57

Dude,

There is no point putting yourself on the chopping block for something so dumb as to undermine a company's network security.

If you get caught (and you will), any motive you come up with will not be tenable, unless this company is 100% owned by you or your ever-loving parents.

http://www.spectorcne.com/
http://www.spector360.com/overview/...


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#18
September 15, 2006 at 13:12:54

Ok, I'll get in this one. You ISP cannot view what you do on your computer. They can "view" any online activity that you conduct. All inbout and ouotbound requests and data transfers.

What you are doing on your computer CAN be viewed remotely though. My company uses an application from Witness Systems that allows them to view/record what the support people are doing on their computers when on a call. This requires that the application is installed on their computer. Depending on the firewall you have, it may or may not block such a program. For example the Windows XP firewall only blocks incomming connections, not outbound. Since this application resides ont he user's computers the Windows firewall would not block it.

I *believe* there is also a way to view what is on a user's computer using built in features of Server 2003. Of course that would require that you are logging in to such a server for your network. I can't find any info ont his at the moment, but I recall reading something like this.

So, if your comapny does monitor your desktop, then a firewall may be able to block it. However, they would find out the first time they actually tried to view your screen. And, it is probably against company policy to run the firewall on your system anyway.

Michael J


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#19
September 15, 2006 at 13:38:23

This is a very interesting topic
So if someone at my work was emailing\browsing\looking at unsavoury sites\or simply slacking on the job managment could if they want see him through a network even without the user knowing..

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#20
September 15, 2006 at 15:34:31

No worries just visit:

http://www.thepickupdoctor.com

This will allow you to relax, laugh and get ready for yet another day.


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#21
September 15, 2006 at 15:48:14

Most companies use a domain setup. On 2003 server domains the admin can see any and all desktops they wish. It is built into XP/2003 and a user can do nothing about it. There are all sorts of other ways to view data on desktops without the user knowing.

Now, it could be that systems that use a tunnel might be hard to intercept. It is not hard to buy a $15 camera and install it either.


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#22
September 15, 2006 at 15:56:55

"So if someone at my work was emailing\browsing\looking at unsavoury sites\or simply slacking on the job managment could if they want see him through a network even without the user knowing.."

With the right tools in place, yes. If you are really paranoid check the runing processes on your machine and Google them to find out what each of them are.

Michael J


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#23
September 15, 2006 at 16:33:26

I dont use a computer at work i was only interested in the subject and if other people could be seen...

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#24
September 15, 2006 at 17:34:36

Hey guys and gals we've given more than enough feedback to the question of...
can others see my desktop?

Now let's change the question to...
can others see my LAPTOP?

In this thread, zoned87 asked (by coincidence??):

What happens if someones on their laptop at a hotspot and do something illegal? Can they be caught? I'm sure they can, but how can authorities find out their IP. I'm just asking because I'm curious lol.

Your comments, please :-)

i_XpUser


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#25
September 15, 2006 at 18:29:16

OO i asked a good question.. Kinda feels like asking a teacher a question and them saying "Good question". Haha tell me if you want any more :)

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#26
September 15, 2006 at 19:27:42

In all liklihood the "Authorities" would be able to identify the mac address of the particular laptop's wireless NIC but since the IP is dynamically assigned by the hotspot's router, knowing the IP would not mean a thing.

The mac address however could be used at a later time to prove that a particular machine was used. I doubt that the mac address of a particular NIC is traceable via the purchase records but who knows? maybe Big Brother does require manufacturers to keep traceable details of such hardware.

If one were to be doing let's say questionable activities using a public hotspot then to reduce the likelihood of being traced, one could use a plug-in wireless adaptor, (PCMCIA or USB) and dispose of the adaptor immediately after use. Of course if BB has access to your machine to check the mac address then they have the harddrive with it's almost indellible evidence of your activities. One would have to replace both the harddrive and NIC to ensure the action could not be traced to that particular machine. This leaves aside the whole question of the multitude of surveillance cameras recording our every move. We live in Orwellian times.

I used to have a signature but it disappeared and I just couldn't be bothered writing another so please feel free to ingore this.


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#27
September 17, 2006 at 10:52:36

My two cents:

"So if someone at my work was emailing\browsing\looking at unsavoury sites\or simply slacking on the job managment could if they want see him through a network even without the user knowing.."

It's not necessary to "see" someones desktop. All the websites you visit can (and likely are) logged and the logs can be viewed at any time by an authorized admin. Email itself can also be viewed, if need be, by the email admin. It's not at all hard to setup your email server to keep copies of all email.

It's not necessary to install key logging software or spyware like something that allows you to "see" what the user is doing on their desktop.

Most companies, like the one where I work, do the above. If, like our company, you're not allowed to play games at work (makes sense, you're there to work, play at home on your own PC) then they simply don't install the games.....period.

As for the laptop question. If you're running a linux based laptop, you could spoof your MAC in about 3 seconds flat to any MAC address you wanted to put in. The only thing 'authorities' could find out for sure is where you connected (ie: from what provider) depending on the hackers knowledge and abilities. This is why people who hack and deal in garbage like childporn 'wardrive' looking for unsecured wireless networks. The only defense, especially for home users is to secure your WLAN with encryption and any/all other means available to you making it as hard as possible for anyone to get into and use your WLAN. A hacker will simply go on by a secured WLAN and not bother attempting to hack it as they know in a matter of minutes (if not seconds) they'll find one that's not secured.

A good analagy is break and enter artists. If lights are on or they hear a dog bark when they knock on your door (no lights), they simply move along and look for a home that's dark with no dog. Path of least resistance right. The same applies to WLAN's.


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#28
September 17, 2006 at 22:54:13

@Richard,

If a WiFi hotspot is utilizing corporate grade hardware/software then I would agree with you. However, if the WiFi hotspot is set up using a run of the mill SOHO router, then there is no logging of MAC addresses. So, I would find it very difficult for any activity to be traced.

In fact, if you want to be really hard to trace just use a public computer. Just make sure it doesn't require you to sign up and there are no video camera's present.

Michael J


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